Current Employer: United States Air Force

Professional Background: I am a retired United States Marine and Military Historian with the federal government. I research and write on the African American experience during the American Civil War, and I work to bring more People of Color into academia and history in my spare time.

Major Accomplishments: Excellent Student Paper Award, 19th Century Press Symposium. Shirley H. and Robert L. Richards Award, Elizabeth Heckman Fellowship, inducted into the Edward Boutchet Soceity, finished my dissertation within four years, and I served honorably in the Marine Corps.

Previous Service to ASALH: Presented papers and chaired panels for ASALH.

What I Hope to Accomplish as an Executive Council Member of ASALH: I hope to use my leadership skills to further ASALH’s mission to research and disseminate African American history. I think my position with the federal government allows me to connect and negotiate with people from various backgrounds, and I plan to use my background and leadership ability to buoy ASALH into the future.



Current Employer: Bowie State University

Professional Background: I have 25 years’ experience in higher education and public history as a professor, administrator, and archivist at the National Archives. My areas of specialization include slavery, the Civil War and Reconstruction, and women’s history. I am currently Chairperson of the Department of History and Government at Bowie State University in Bowie, Maryland, and a member of Iota Gamma Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.

Major Accomplishments: I am Professor of History and the University System of Maryland Wilson H. Elkins Endowed Professor. I am Founding Director of the Du Bois Center for the Study of the Black Experience at Bowie State University. My scholarship has appeared in the Journal of African American History; Journal of Women’s History; Georgia Historical Quarterly; Passport; U.S. West-Africa: Interaction and Relations (2008); Before Obama: A Reappraisal of Black Reconstruction Era Politicians (2012); Converging Identities: Blackness in the Contemporary Diaspora (2013); and Slavery and Freedom in Savannah (2014). I have published Claiming Freedom: Race, Kinship, and Land in Nineteenth Century Georgia(University of South Carolina Press, 2018), which won the Georgia Board of Regents Excellence in Research Award. My current book, Running from Bondage: Enslaved Women and Their Remarkable Fight for Freedom in RevolutionaryAmerica, is published with Cambridge University Press and was a finalist for the Pauli Murray Book Prize for Best Book in African American Intellectual History; Honorable Mention for the Letitia Woods Brown Book Prize; and winner of the Afro-American Historical and Genealogical Society International Book Award. I am editor of Southern Black Women’s Struggle for Freedom during the Civil War and Reconstruction which is under contract with Cambridge University Press and Co-editor of the Broadview Edition of Twelve Years a Slave. My writings have also appeared in the Washington Postand Ms. Magazine. I am a contributor for Black Perspectives, the blog of the African American Intellectual History Society and a former AAUW Dissertation Fellow.

Previous Service to ASALH: I am a member of the ASALH Prince George’s County, Maryland Truth Branch. I was elected to the Executive Council in 2013. I have volunteered to chair sessions at ASALH, organize panels, and presented at ASALH over the past twenty years.

What I Hope to Accomplish as an Executive Council Member of ASALH: As a member of the Executive Council Class of 2026, I will work diligently with the ASALH leadership to promote the study of Black History at all education levels in fulfillment of the mission that Dr. Carter G. Woodson established for ASALH. As was the case in Dr. Woodson’s lifetime, the battlefield for teaching Black History is once again in the K-12 classrooms across the nation. I will work to enhance innovative programming such as ASALH TV and ASALH Podcasts and contribute to the development of educational resources.


Current Employer: Queens College

Professional Background: Natanya Duncan is the Director of Africana Studies at Queens College City University of New York and an Associate Professor of History. A historian of the African Diaspora, her research and teaching focuses on global freedom movements of the 20th and 21st Century. Duncan’s research interest includes constructions of identity and nation building amongst women of color; migrations; color and class in Diasporic communities; and the engagements of intellectuals throughout the African Diaspora. Her forthcoming University of Illinois Press book, An Efficient Womanhood: Women and the Making of the Universal Negro Improvement Association, focuses on the distinct activist strategies in-acted by women in the Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA), which Duncan calls an efficient womanhood. Following the ways women in the UNIA scripted their own understanding of Pan Africanism, Black Nationalism and constructions of Diasporic Blackness, the work traces the blending of nationalist and gendered concerns amongst known and lesser known Garveyite women.

Major Accomplishments: Duncan’s publications include works that explore the leadership models of UNIA women and include “Now in Charge of the American Field”: Maymie De Mena and Charting the UNIA’s New Course” in Journal of Liberty Hall (Vol. 3 2017); “Henrietta Vinton Davis: The Lady of the Race” in Journal of New York History (Fall 2014 Vol 95 No. 4); “Laura Kofey and the Reverse Atlantic Experience” in The American South and the Atlantic World (University of Florida Press, 2013). Most recently she co-edited a special volume of Caribbean Women and Gender Studies Journal, “Gender and Anti-colonialism in the Interwar Caribbean” published December 2018.

Previous Service to ASALH: Natanya Duncan has served on the Executive Council of ASALH for over a decade. She led the team to pivot and manage ASALH’s 2020 virtual conference. She has served on the ASALH Governance Committee and ASALH Nominations Committee. She was part of the team to create the Dr. Felix Armfield Series for Emerging Scholars at the ASALH Annual Conference. This series of sessions increased ASALH’s outreach to young scholars by connecting them with senior scholars for advice and support.

What I Hope to Accomplish as an Executive Council Member of ASALH: As an Executive Council Member, Duncan will work to build programming to support emerging scholars and build the ASALH brand. She will also dedicate herself to ensuring ASALH is on sound financial footing.


Current Employer: Georgia Institute of Technology

Professional Background: Dr. Aisha Johnson (she/her), Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Outreach at Georgia Institute of Technology Library is a revelator of Southern library history. Formerly an Assistant Professor/MLS Program Director for the School of Library and Information Sciences at North Carolina Central University, she is committed to archival research, the production of minority librarians and archivists for cultural preservation, and redefining the scholar. Johnson stands on a soapbox for unveiling the history of underrepresented communities. She has focused much of her research on the development of literacy in the African American community and philanthropic efforts to develop public libraries in the South. Her advocacy for librarianship and archives is not only conveyed in her research, but also her professional career. She is well-versed in archival research, instruction, program administration, assessment, and evaluation as well as curriculum development to produce practical professionals. With such a dedication to the field, Dr. Johnson encourages redefining the scholar by introducing primary source research with emphasis on synthesis and encouraging scholar practitioners.

Major Accomplishments: I have earned fours degrees including a Master’s in Library and Information Sciences (Florida State) and a Master’s in Business Administration (Clark Atlanta) as well as a PhD in Information Studies (Florida State). An experienced scholar and professional, I have made advocacy and outreach for the underserved my platform for social justice in libraries and education. Historical scholarship is the foundation. As a result of the impact, I was dubbed the 2020 Distinguished Alumni of Florida State University’s College of Communication and Information, School of Information. In 2021, the Association for the Study of African American Life and History recognized her work and impact with the Freedom Scholar Award.


Previous Service to ASALH: While I have presented at ASALH and have had the absolute honor of recognition, I have not been able to serve the organization in an official capacity.

What I Hope to Accomplish as an Executive Council Member of ASALH: Assist in budget management, community building, educational program planning, and conducting outreach activities.


Current Employer: Chicago State University and The Chicago Urban League

Professional Background: Associate Professor of History and Africana Studies. Vice President and Executive Director of the Research and Policy Center of the Chicago Urban League.

Major Accomplishments: Publication Record – ““The only to get what’s coming to us”: African American Coalition Building and Veterans’ Rights in Post-World War II Chicago,” Journal of Illinois History (Spring, 2009). A New Deal for Bronzeville: Housing, Employment, and Civil Rights in Chicago, 1935-1955 (Southern Illinois University Press, 2015). ‘I Too Serve America: African American Women War Workers in Chicago, 1940-1945,” Journal of Illinois State Historical Society (Winter 2000/2001). Professional Service – Lead Historian for the Illinois Freedom Project funded by the National Park Service Advisory Council for the Franklin Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum Exhibit on the Roosevelt’s and Race. Vice-president in the Black Chicago History Forum. Advisory Board of the A. Philip Randolph Pullman Porters Museum. Faculty Advisory Council of the Black Metropolis Research Consortium Labor and Working Class History Association (LAWCHA), Executive Board (2009-2012).

Previous Service to ASALH: Executive Council (2012-2015, 2017); Vice President for Programs (2017-2020); Academic Program Committee member (2010-present); Academic Program Committee co-chair/vice-chair (2014, 2015, 2016, 2012, 2021, 2022, 2023); National Centennial Celebration Steering Committee; Chicago Centennial Celebration co-chair; Membership Committee; Nominating Committee; National Historic Sites Committee.

What I Hope to Accomplish as an Executive Council Member of ASALH: I joined the Association as a graduate student in 1998. One of the things that piqued my interest and motivated me to join was my discovery of a copy of the Journal of African History in the university library. At that stage in my career, the Journal exposed me to a dynamic community of African American scholars, that I really did not see in Iowa, provided me with the inspiration to complete my own research and helped me to become an active participant in the field. In retrospect, I believe my experience may not be all that different from other ASALH members. For the past several years, I have had the great opportunity to participate in a number of discussions regarding the direction of ASALH and how the organization has and will change to meet the changing economic and programmatic landscape. One way to do this is to make our annual meeting a venue where existing and emerging black studies groups to convene their meetings and encourage their members to participate in ASALH. We were successful when we did this is Indianapolis, we have been successful when we did this with the Association of Black Women Historians, and I am confident we can do the same with other groups. Over the years we have noticed a trend that young scholars have increasingly expressed that there is no space for them in the Association. It’s critical that we make concerted efforts to provide the space, resources, and opportunities to build their careers, find mentors, and learn the organization well enough so that one day they can take leadership roles. Our conversations and understanding of voices of young scholars have to change. as a result, the way by which we put on our programs must reflect these new scholarly trends. The economic and racial realities that confront ASALH present a number of challenges. One way to address is to return to the “big tent” rhetoric of our centennial and build stronger connections to organization with similar missions. Looking back, I think that we largely accomplished this. Our previous conventions have been some of the largest in recent history. But, as new organizations are founded and look to convene their own conferences and universities are increasingly cutting back on travel funding for our members in academic institutions, instead of a big tent we may find ourselves in a stiff competition for attendees. If elected to the Executive Council, I would like to continue to reach out to these new academic groups and continue to strengthen our existing relationships. During my service to ASALH, I worked hard to help make sure ASALH can continue to be a place where dynamic intellectual discussions are occurring. My work with ASALH TV, the Social Justice Consortium, and PBS Books have all helped ASALH create a space in a new intellectual space. If elected, I will work to make sure that we continue grow and remain the premier Black History organization.


Current Employer: United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, Washington, DC

Professional Background: Public Service at USDA: Chief, Training and Cultural Transformation programs for the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, Director, Office of Outreach, and National Program Leader for Human Sciences Research; co-author of five national award-winning critical issues curricular; author or co-author of grants generating more than $12 million for programs designed to improve well-being of children, families and communities; Associate Professor, Family and Consumer Sciences, North Carolina Central University.

Major Accomplishments: Creating a leadership institute for women of African descent aged 21-45 to encourage them to aspire to leadership positions in their communities, civic, social and professional organizations and faith congregations; helping to found a national organization to recover and record the contributions of black women in family and consumer sciences; serving as National President of The Links, Inc.; and service to the International Board of Directors of Habitat for Humanity, The Black Women’s Agenda, and Delta Sigma Theta Sorority. Co-author of two books that help close critical gaps in the history of accomplishments of Black women and Black women’s organizations.

Previous Service to ASALH: Member, Executive Council; Creator of Black History Month Festival; Chair of the Development Committee; Co-Chair and member, Black History Month Luncheon Leadership Team; Contributor, Centennial Campaign; Assisted with implementation and marketing of the ASALH Legacy Award.

What I Hope to Accomplish as an Executive Council Member of ASALH: Continue critical work examining ASALH’s fund development structure in building a sustainable fund development program and office that addresses current and long-term operational and programming needs; engage members in building ASALH’s capacity to reach new audiences; enhance ASALH’s operations, governance and communications to build better/sustaining bridges to the public; help foster accurate understanding about the contributions of peoples of African descent in building the United States and the world; and create and secure funding for a long-term academic program that produces the next generation of scholars trained to research, record and disseminate the history of peoples of African descent.


Current Employer: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Professional Background: Postdoctoral Associate, 2020-2022, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Assistant Professor, School of Labor and Employment Relations, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Major Accomplishments: Guest Editor, Special Issue of Labor Studies Journal, “More Expendable Than Essential: Black Workers’ Rights and Racial Class Struggles Under the COVID Crisis,” December 2022.-First edition of Labor Studies Journal to focus solely on Black workers. Author, “Toward a Theory of Super-Exploitation: The Subproletariat, Harold “Hal” Baron, and the Crisis of the Political Economy of Black Labor,” Labor Studies Journal, December 2022. Author, “Class Warfare in Black Atlanta: African American Grassroots Struggles, Power, and Repression Under Gentrification, 1966-2022,” Forthcoming Book with UNC Press.

Previous Service to ASALH: 2015-2016 Academic Program Committee Member. Papers Presented/Panels Organized – Augustus Wood, “Politically Oriented, Liberation Minded: Black Student Power and Social Movement Organizing at the University of Illinois.” Association for the Study of African American Life and History, Indianapolis, October 2018. Augustus Wood, “History and Culture of Black Atlanta,” The Association for the Study of African-American Life and History, Cincinnati, Ohio, September 2017. Augustus Wood, “Black Space as Commodity: The Political Economy of Race, Class, and Space in Atlanta, 1970-2010,” Association for the Study of African-American Life and History, Indianapolis, Indiana, October 2018. Augustus Wood, “The Logic of Black Labor Social Movements: Black Power and Labor in Atlanta, 1970-1973,” Association for the Study of African American Life and History, Cincinnati, Ohio, September 2017. Augustus Wood, “The Stakes of Community in Black Urban History: Revisiting Sundiata Keita Cha-Jua’s America’s First Black Town: Brooklyn, Illinois, 1830-1915,” Association for the Study of African American Life and History, Cincinnati, Ohio, September 2017.

What I Hope to Accomplish as an Executive Council Member of ASALH: My goal is to help ASALH grow in membership and participation by Black scholars. I hope to work with other council members to create a 2-3 year plan of organizing scholars as well as others into an active role in ASALH. I am eager to learn more about the different systems and processes in the ASALH Executive Council so as to build a consistent plan for strengthening the organization over time. MY specialty is strategy.


Current Employer: Morgan State University

Professional Background: Historian

Major Accomplishments: Professor of History and Chair at Howard University and Morgan State University, Won 1998 James Rawley Prize for Best Book in Race Relations History, Awarded Mary McLeod Bethune Award by ASALH, Published in: JAAH, the Journal of American History, and the American Historical Review

Previous Service to ASALH: 35 year Lifetime Member, Created and Served as Academic Program Chair Multiple times between 2003-2010, JAAH Editorial Board 2003-2015, Publications Committee Chair, 2005 thru 2012, Established the ASALH Press, Edited the Black History Theme Products, 2004 thru 2013, First Vice President for Programs, serving two three year terms, Centennial President of ASALH, 2013-2015, Currently Vice-Chair of the Academic Program Committee for 2023 Annual Meeting in Jacksonville

What I Hope to Accomplish as an Executive Council Member of ASALH: Assist ASALH in navigating the assault on African American History from K thru 16, which was one of our founding missions. Assist ASALH in pursuing new publication opportunities to better serve the scholarly community. Assist ASALH in preparing for the 100th Anniversary of the establishment of Negro History Week now Black History Month